Monthly News Bulletins

Monthly News Bulletins

Since April 2000, Hook Parish Council has published Monthly News Bulletins in Hook Focus Magazine. An archive of the Bulletins is available below.

Apr 102021
 

Hook Parish Council Annual Report

A copy of our Annual Report will be delivered to every household in Hook this month. Thanks go to Hook and Odiham Lions who have kindly offered to deliver these on our behalf.  An electronic copy can also be found on our website at https://hook.gov.uk/about-hook-parish-council/council-publications/annual-reports

2021 Annual Village Meeting

As reported last month, the Annual Village Meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday 12th May at 7:30pm.  We are excited to announce that the following speakers will attend the event:

  • Chief Inspector John Halfacre, Hampshire Constabulary
  • Caroline Winchurch, Hart Voluntary Action
  • Mark Hazell, Hook and Odiham Lions

There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each presentation. However, if you have any questions that you would like to ask the Parish Council or any of our speakers in advance, please email them to by Wednesday, 5th May.  This enables the speakers to respond at the meeting.

The Agenda will be published shortly on our website https://hook.gov.uk/about-hook-parish-council/council-meetings/agendas/ where you will find the details on how to join the virtual meeting.

Hook in Bloom

A huge thank you to the Hook in Bloom volunteers who braved the weather at the end of last year and planted bulbs throughout the village.  Daffodils, Crocuses and Narcissi have been bursting into bloom to herald the arrival of Spring in Hook.  For those of you who haven’t already seen the call to action, Hook in Bloom is asking those who can knit or crochet to make poppies for a large piece of art planned for Remembrance Day in November. Please email for more information and a copy of the pattern.

Hedges and Trees

If you have trees or hedges that border a path, please remember that it is your responsibility to manage them.  Hedges need to be kept trimmed back so they do not encroach public footpaths and tree branches should be trimmed so they are above head height and any “dead wood” be removed.  Please ensure that your green waste is disposed of responsibly, either via:

Elections

At the time of writing, it is planned that the Local Government Elections on Thursday 6th May will take place.  If you do not wish to vote in person, you have until 20th April to apply for a postal vote: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-post

These elections in May are for the following:

  • Election of a Ward councillor for each of the 11 wards of Hart District Council (your District Councillor)
  • Election of a County Councillor for each of the 5 divisions of Hampshire County Council (your County Councillor)
  • Election of a Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire

For more information, please go to https://www.hart.gov.uk/election-information

Mar 102021
 

Annual report – Call for Photographs of Hook

The municipal year is coming to a close, and we are beginning to prepare the Annual Report, which will be coming through your door over the Easter Weekend.  To enhance the Report we like to include photographs taken around Hook during the year, but due to Covid and the lack of local events, we are asking residents to send any of your photographs that have been taken in Hook over the last year, that you are willing to have included in the Report, on our website or the App.  There were some lovely pictures of knitted poppies, fairies and painted stones to be seen on Facebook, so please be creative in what you send.  E-mail images to: .

2021 Annual Village Meeting (AVM)

At the beginning of the year, we set the date of 12th May to hold the Hook AVM.  In view of the continuing lockdown the Council has decided, due to safety concerns, to hold the AVM virtually this year.  This is an important opportunity for residents to engage with local groups and Councillors, and the meeting online will start at 7.30 pm on 12th May.  A number of guest speakers have been invited to present, and there will Q & A sessions following the presentations and in response to general questions.   Over the next couple of months we will publish more information about the speakers and details of how to join the AVM online.

Do you feel Hook is a safe place to live? – Survey Responses

We are delighted to report that 16% of households in Hook responded to the survey or completed it online.  This is a tremendous response and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback and comments.   The results have now been collated and initial analysis is providing useful information which will be discussed when the Community Safety Working Group (CSWG) meets in early March.   The CSWG is made up of representatives from the Police, Hart District Council and Hook Parish Council and if you indicated you would like to be involved in the work of this group, you will be contacted over the next couple of months.

Local Events in 2021

Although Hook has been relatively resilient throughout the Covid Pandemic, life has been anything but normal.  At this point in the year we would have been looking forward to working with the Hook & Odiham Lions and Odiham & Hook Rotary Club to add the Hook Village Show to the programme of local events over the summer.  Sadly, at the suggestion of the Lions, it was agreed by the Council that the planned date of 4th July was unlikely to be achievable.  Although alternative dates were discussed at the Council meeting on 3rd February, there were too many conflicts to enable a suitable date to be agreed.  We will eagerly await to start planning for an event in 2022 in due course.

Similarly, the Echo Hotel Music Club, which had just finished its very successful first year, has not been able to hold a gig since March last year.  News of plans for later in 2021 will be published as dates are more certain.  See page XX for updates.

Tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore

Following the announcement of the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore on 2nd February, the Council felt it would be appropriate for the Hook flag to be lowered to half-mast for the week after the announcement, as a mark of respect

Feb 112021
 

COVID 19 help

If Coronavirus has had an impact on you or any aspect of your life, including anyone who is self-isolating, you can telephone the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline on 0333 3 704 000 for advice and support.  They can help if you are struggling to get the food, medicine or essential supplies you need for yourself or your family.  They can also help with other worries you may have such as debt/money issues, Mental health support, domestic abuse, bereavement, problems with drug and alcohol misuse.  You can also find information about support at www.connecttosupporthampshire.org.uk/coronavirus and https://www.hart.gov.uk/covid-19

Staff Changes

After 16 years, we will be saying farewell to our Environment & Community Admin Officer, Marian Bright.  She is moving on to enjoy the freedom to travel (when it becomes possible) and explore new hobbies.  Many of our residents and their dogs, know Marian and have had her assistance with a variety of issues over the years.  She has been responsible for all our open spaces, facilities, trees, the Christmas lights, hanging baskets, poppies on the lampposts and the cemetery.  A number of large scale projects have been delivered under her oversight, including the skate park and the replacement of Wellworth Park play area.  Undoubtedly, she will be missed and a hard act to follow, but we would like to wish her well as she starts a new chapter in her life at the end of February.

Sarah McMeeken will be replacing Marian.  Sarah has joined us after 15 years working at Tylney Hall Hotel.  She is well acquainted with the wide range of facilities and organisations within Hook, so is well placed to continue to support our Community.  Being a dog lover, she will look forward to meeting all the dogs and the owners once we are able to reopen the offices.

Spring Cleaning

During the winter months, when trees and hedges are bare, discarded roadwork signs, traffic cones and temporary diversion signage become visible around the village.  If you notice any of these, or generally fly tipping, perhaps whilst out on your daily exercise, take a photo on a smartphone and upload it to FixMyStreet https://www.fixmystreet.com (or via our app). This is an easy and safe way to contribute to the clear up of the village in time for spring, when all the bulbs the Hook In Bloom volunteers planted in the autumn, will start appearing. 

Precept

The Council approved the budget and set the precept for 2021-22 at the January Parish Council meeting.  The parish precept is the portion of your council tax which is allocated to Hook Parish Council and is used primarily to pay for the maintenance of the PC owned facilities and green spaces, local services and the associated costs. Whilst we needed to apply a Cost of Living increase, the cost per household will remain almost the same as this year. On average, each household contributes less than the cost of a cup of coffee in a local Café, per per week.  This enables the Council to continue to provide and improve the amenities and services in Hook.  Where possible, we obtain additional funding to enable enhancements to the facilities in Hook and continue to offer free pre-application planning consultations.   We also offer support to numerous local organisations, events and charities and advice as to where to find information on a range of other matters.

Annual Village Meeting (AVM)

At the time of writing the AVM is booked for Wednesday 12th May.  It is hoped this can go ahead at Hook Community Centre as normal.  Obviously, we will wait to see how the vaccinations programme progresses and government advice nearer the time.

If you have not attended previously, the normal format of the evening is an exhibition by local organisations, followed by various presentations during the formal part of the evening and a chance to ask questions to the presenters and the Parish Council.    More than 25 groups were represented at the 2019 AVM and the presentations were enjoyed by 150 residents.

Echo Hotel Music Club/Hook Live

Due to COVID, the Echo Hotel Music Club programme was cut short and cancelled last year.  They hope to be back in the autumn and have provisionally booked a number of bands.  Please visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/echohotelmusichook/ for more information.

Village Connect

Village Connect is a new local initiative, led by Hook & Odiham Lions in partnership with Rotary Club of Odiham & Hook.

They aim to engage with local people, clubs and groups in Hook, Hartley Wintney and Odiham to hear ideas for local projects or services that could address community needs and support the wellbeing of our communities.

Jan 102021
 

Happy New Year

The Parish Councillors and office Staff would like to wish all of our residents a happy New Year.  We are awaiting information about the local rollout of the vaccine, but will all look forward to a gradual return to normality as 2021 progresses.

Many of the events and activities the Parish Council normally has planned are still on hold, pending better news of being allowed more social freedom.  When that time comes, we will post updates in the usual places – Hook Focus, noticeboards, our website, the App and on our Facebook page.

Community Christmas Lunch

Unfortunately, it was not possible to host the Hook Community Christmas Lunch this year.  All those who have been guests at this lovely event in previous years have been contacted by phone, to check how they were getting on, and many were able to join family and friends this Christmas.   We were saddened to hear that some had passed away during 2020 and will be missed when we are able to resume this jolly Christmas date next year.

Recycling Christmas Trees

In previous years Hart District Council ran free recycling collection points for real Christmas Trees.  Due to Crossways Manor Car Park, Hook (By the doctors) being used as a Covid Hantsdoc site, this is not an option this year.  Alternatives are being investigated, but if you subscribe to the Green Waste Recycling Service, you can put your tree out with your Green Bin for collection.

There will be other collection points across the Hart District.  Please contact Hart on 01252 622122 or www.hart.gov.uk/waste-recycling for more information on these .

We understand the Scouts may be operating a collection system, so look out for more information about this as it is published.

Bassetts Mead

HIWWT Trust have a new Reserve Officer.  Ciara Askin will be out and about in Bassets Mead, so do stop and have a chat with her if you see her and make her feel welcome in Hook. She will be very happy to speak to you and has met a number of local residents already.

A new bench is being installed along the riverbank, to replace the one which mysteriously disappeared over the summer.

Litter Picking

We have been encouraged recently by numerous offers of litter picking, both individuals, families and local groups.  We have been liaising with Hook & Odiham Lions, who are now co-ordinating a regular programme of volunteer litter picks around Hook throughout the year, which we are supporting with the loan of equipment.

Community Safety Survey

Thank you for all those who completed the Community Safety Survey.  As in the past, we had a great response and appreciate the support of our residents.  We will report on the findings and next steps for the Working Group, once they have analysed the results.

Parish Council Office

At the time of writing, Hart is in Tier 2 of the latest lockdown and we have no certainty of when we will be able to re-open the office.  In the meantime, the staff continue to work from home and all normal services are being offered – albeit some are now virtual.  If you do need assistance or to speak to a member of staff please e-mail or call the office.

To enable more effective remote working a new phone system has been installed that enables calls to be transferred between office staff, wherever they are working.  Extensions number for each staff member are:

201 – Anne Atkins

202 – Marian Bright

203 – Serena Dolby

204 – Annalie Hadfield

205 – Pam Mercer

Dec 102020
 

Shopping and additional help.

During the first Lockdown all over 70’s and those were clinically vulnerable were told to self-isolate and we were blessed to have a lot volunteers in Hook who offered their assistance.  The message during the lockdown in November was less restrictive and only those notified that they were in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group were advised to self-isolate.  Whilst this has meant the demand for shopping assistance has been much less, we are still there to help if the lockdowns continue.   Should you need assistance, please contact the helpline on 0333 370 4000 and you will be put in contact with a volunteer in Hook, who can help you.

Community Safety Survey

Further to our newsletter last month, due to our normal delivery service not operating at present, the Hook and Odiham Lions have kindly offered to distribute the surveys to every household in Hook by the end of November.

The form is gummed and has a FREEPOST prepaid reply address on the back, to make returning easy.   You can down load and print copies or complete it online at https://hook.gov.uk/surveys/ .  This survey is per person, not just per household, so all members of your household respond.    The closing date for returning the survey is 5pm 14th December 2020.

The results of the survey will help the Community Safety Working Group understand the type of unsolicited activities which are of concern to residents and to look at ways of ensuring Hook remains a safe and enjoyable place to live.

Xmas Tree and Lights

Christmas will be very different this year, but the village centre will still be festive throughout December with Christmas lights on the lampposts, lights in the trees and above the shops of Grand Parade, as well as a Christmas tree.  We hope this lifts residents’ spirits and brings some Christmas cheer despite the lack of the normal events and festivities.

Christmas Closure

Although we do not know what the Covid rules will be through December, the Parish Council Office will be closed from 12 noon on 24th December (Christmas Eve) and reopen on Monday 4th January at 9am – lockdowns permitted.   Please see our website, App and Facebook for information on office opening.  If the office is not able to re-open, our staff will be working from home and will be available via the phone and email.

Christmas Refuse collections

At the time of writing, Hart District Council (HDC) had not released their Christmas Refuse Collection dates.  Please keep checking HDC’s website at for updates at https://www.hart.gov.uk/waste-recycling.   We will endeavour to publish updates for  residents via our Facebook Page, App, website and our Noticeboards once Hart release the information.

Poppies on lampposts

A huge thank you to the team of volunteers who braved the weather and helped put up/take down the Poppies on lampposts around Hook.  Not only was it a lovely tribute to those that have fallen, but it also added a splash of colour across the village

As part of the commemorations, whilst following government guidance, the Parish Council was able to lay a wreath at the War Memorial and fly the Union Jack flag on the Flagpole at Hartletts Park (opposite the Community Centre) throughout the Remembrance weekend.

Hook In Bloom (HIB)

The wonderful HIB volunteers were out last month planting hundreds of bulbs around the village and ensuring all the flower beds and planters were ready for winter.  We will look froward to seeing all the bulbs flowering across the village in the spring.  If you would like to get involved, go to https://hookinbloom.org

Finally, the Parish Councillors and Office Staff wish all our residents a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Nov 102020
 

Community Safety

Following complaints from residents about ASB, and a small number of car thefts and burglaries earlier in the year, the council has formed a Community Safety Working Group.  This group is made up of Councillors and other agencies in Hart who will initially investigate the type of issues of concern to residents.  It is intended to distribute a survey to every household in Hook during November to identify these.  Please complete and return this survey to assist the group in formulating recommendations to Council.

Part Time Administrator

There is a position for a part time administrator in the Parish Council office.  Please go to https://hook.gov.uk/job-vacancy for more information and how to apply for this role.  The closing date for applications is Thursday 19th November.

Poppies on lampposts and Remembrance Sunday (8th November 2020)

A team of volunteers have kindly offered to help put up/take down Poppies on lampposts around Hook. At the time of writing the plan is for them to go up at the beginning of November.

As part of the commemorations, the Parish Council plan to lay a wreath at the War Memorial and fly the Union Jack flag on the Flagpole at Hartletts Park (opposite the Community Centre) throughout the Remembrance weekend.

Annual Reports

For those residents new to Hook, who may not have seen the Parish Council’s  Annual Report, this informative publication is delivered to every household in Hook in April ahead of the Annual Village Meeting and outlines Parish Council activities and achievements during the past year and what services the Council offers.  If you would like a copy, please contact us or you can pick one up from the Parish Council office.  Alternatively, you can find a electronic copy on our website at: https://hook.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/39716-hpc_Annual-report-19-20.pdf

Pictures of Hook

Many of us over the summer were able to enjoy the good weather.  We are always looking for photographs of Hook residents embracing village life, or pictures of the beautiful scenery we have on our doorstep.  We would like to use these on our social media, website and within our publications.  If you have any pictures that you are willing to share with us, please email them to with the name of the photographer and a description or caption.

Sep 102020
 

Parish Council Office reopens

At the time of writing, we are hoping to reopen our office on the 2nd September.  However, as with all things recently, this may change.

Volunteers

When lockdown struck our Community rose to the challenge.  Many of you will have been helping friends, family and neighbours who were isolating or shielding.  The Hart Response Hub had calls from many other residents willing to help strangers with shopping, pharmacy collections, or just someone to chat to.  Some have been baking cakes, making scrubs or printing/sewing masks for the NHS.  It has been heart-warming to see the community spirit in Hook flourishing.  Many new friendships have also been formed and families have been out discovering the beautiful countryside that is on our doorstep.

Play Areas

Most play areas are open and being well used, albeit with a reduced level of equipment (e.g one of a pair of swings removed or disabled) to enable social distancing whilst using the play area.  There is evidence that social distancing has not always been practised and in the case of the outdoor gym, this had to be closed as it became impossible to keep taping up the equipment to prevent usage.  If you are using the play areas please observe the safety and hygiene notices (a copy of which can be found on our Website and Facebook page).

One play area, at Sheldens Reach, has cause confusion.  This play area is not owned by the Parish Council, although the gate was locked along with all the other play areas in March.  Having re-opened it, along with our other play areas and advised Cala Homes, they took the decision that it should be closed as they do not have the resources to manage it in the current situation.

Dog Waste – King John V playing fields

It has come to our attention that there is a problem with people not clearing up after their dog at the King George V playing fields.  These fields are used for a number of sports.  Dog waste is not only unpleasant, it is a health hazard.   Please clear up after your dog.  FREE dog bags are available.  Call the office on 01256 768 687 to find out where your nearest collection point is.

Annual Village Meeting

This event was rescheduled from May to 15th September, but sadly now had to be cancelled.  The government has removed the requirement for this meeting to take place in 2020, due to continued social distancing.

Last year Guy Mason gave a very engaging talk about Bassetts Mead and he was due to do so again this year.  However, he has moved onto pastures new in the NW of England, so we do not know who will replace him at HIWWT.  Two other presentations were to be made by Mark Hazell, on behalf of Hook & Odiham Lions and Chief Inspector John Halfacre.  Mark has prepared an article based on the content of his presentation, which can be found on page X.  CI Halfacre will also prepare a written update, to be published in the October.

We will announce the date for the 2021 Meeting early in the New Year.

Hook App & Hook Focus Magazine

If you have recently moved to Hook, you may not yet be aware of the Hook Focus Magazine or that Hook Parish Council has an App.   In normal times both are packed with information about local events and activities.  Hook Focus is published 11 times a year and costs 80p per copy continues to be full of articles from local organisations and groups, as well as some of those a little further afield.   It is available from Trees, The post office, Hartletts Cafe and Tesco (Customer Service Counter) or can be delivered to your door for £6 for a full year.

A great way to get to know your new neighbours is the become a Hook Focus distributor – and you get some healthy exercise into the bargain.  For more information about Focus subscriptions or distribution contact 01256 764 132

Sadly, the events calendars are a bit empty right now, but when all the groups, organisations and charities are ‘back in business’, to keep up to date with what is going on, subscribe to Hook Focus or Search ‘Hook Parish Council’ on Google Play or App Store to Download our App Free now.

Small Hook Businesses win awards

Congratulations to Hook Post Office for becoming a regional finalist in the Post Office ‘We’re Stronger Together’ awards for service during Covid-19 pandemic and to Hartletts Café for being awarded TripAdvisor’s Best of the Best Award.

Many Hook businesses have worked really hard during the pandemic, to provide the goods and services residents needed, and in some case completely diversifying.   Undoubtedly, there has been a significant financial impact on small business, so please show your support and continue to shop/eat out locally.

Your Hook Pictures

The landscape of Hook has been transformed over the summer as many residents and businesses made good use of their time in Lockdown creating beautiful displays in their garden.  If you have captured images of the beautiful local scenery, gardens or wildflowers on your daily walks we would love to add them to the growing gallery on our website, or use them in the 2021 Annual Report or on social media as testament to the industrious and resilient residents of Hook did during lockdown  If you are happy to share these with us, please send them by email to: with the name of the photographer and a description/caption.

Jul 052020
 

At the time of writing, the government is still gradually easing the Lockdown.   The Play Parks and Outdoor Gym remained closed in June.  Please continue to check our App, website, noticeboards, Facebook page and Hook Focus for information on reopening of facilities and when events/meetings are taking place. We will continue to follow Government advice and guidelines.

Parish Council Office

The Parish Council office remains closed; however, all staff are still contactable and working from home.  We will return to our office once the Community Centre reopens, but our opening hours may vary.

Our Ground Maintenance Team are working hard to ensure the facilities that are available are kept well maintained.  The hanging baskets adding a beautiful splash of colour to lift everyone’s spirits in the village centre.  The Hook in Bloom volunteers have been busy planting in the beds along Station Road and ensuring the planters are also looking beautiful.  There are various areas of wildflowers beginning to bloom around the village, which Hart District Council planted just before lockdown.  These are not only providing colour, but an important habitat for insects such as bees and other pollinators.

Meetings

Meetings of the Council and Committees are being held virtually, when urgent business requires.  There will be a Council meeting on 1st July, when it is expected John Orchard will be co-opted onto the Council to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Gill Miller.

Agendas are published the week prior to the virtual meeting and will include information and links to enable public participation.  All Agendas can be found on Parish Council Noticeboards and our website at https://hook.gov.uk/about-hook-parish-council/council-meetings/agendas/ .

Accounts and Audit

Although new legislation extended the period for the local council audit process, the Internal Audit has been completed with no matters being raised.  The Accounts and Audit Statements will be presented to Council on 1st July for Approval.  Details of how and where to view the accounts will be published on the Parish Council App, Facebook page, Website and Noticeboards during the summer.

Planning

As Hart District Council Officers were redeployed to support the COVID-19 crisis response, much routine the work slowed down, but planning applications continue to be processed at a steady pace.  The first virtual meeting of the Hook Planning & Infrastructure Committee took place on 10th June and members of the public attended online.

Two pre-applications of note were submitted to Hart just before COVID-19 struck, the first, for a 160-unit retirement village with ancillary buildings on the same site as the recently refused 700 home West of Hook (Owens Farm) planning application. Hart District Council has issued a response to the Pre-application which can be read in full here.

The second Pre-application for a 70-bed care home on land adjacent the Reading Road on the green field site between the North East Hook development and the garden centre. The full response from Hart can be found here.

Fly tipping

Over the months that the Household Recycling Centres and Green Waste Collection Service were not operating, we have seen an increase in fly tipping.   Please do not dump your waste.  It is unsightly, antisocial, attracts vermin and is illegal.   If convicted at court, the maximum fine is unlimited, and you could face 5 years in prison.

You are still liable for any fine incurred if you employ a person or company that does not dispose of your waste appropriately.  A list of registered companies can be found at https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/.

To check if a company is licensed to dispose of waste, or for more information about fly tipping go to https://www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/flytipping.

Defibrillators

If you need to call 999 and the Ambulance Service advise using a defibrillator, they will direct you to the nearest one and provide you with the code to remove the machine from the cabinet. Anyone can use a defibrillator, as verbal instructions are given throughout.  In Hook you would expect to be directed to one of these three locations:

  • Grand Parade, RG27 9HF – adjacent to the Mosaic opposite the Post Office is.
  • Elizabeth Hall, RG27 9HH – at the front of the main entrance.
  • Hook Community Centre, RG27 9NN – near the Squash Court entrance gate

Use of Parish Council Land for Activities and Events

Since the Community Centre had to close, several notices have been published, advertising events or services to take place in Hartletts Park, including personal training, fitness classes or organised gatherings involving large groups.   These activities require the permission of the Parish Council before being advertised.  Private bookings and commercial activities are chargeable, in the same way booking an indoor space would be.  The charges can be found at: https://hook.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Hartletts-Park-Hire-Charges-2019-20.pdf

Booking system for the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC)

HWRC’s re-opened in May.  To reducing queues a booking system is now in place.  Do not take items to any HWRC without a pre booked appointment.  Bookings can be made via https://www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/recyclingcentres/book-appointment or by phone on 023 8017 9949

ECHO HOTEL MUSIC CLUB – 2020 Programme cancelled.  See page X for update.

 ANNUAL VILLAGE MEETING – 15th September 2020 subject to COVID Advice

Jun 112020
 

At the time of writing, the COVID-19 lockdown had just begun to ease.  The measures announced on 10th May, enabled us to swiftly re-open the Tennis Courts and Basketball area, with the proviso that social distancing was still adhered to.   We will continue to follow Government advice and guidelines until normality can resume.   As facilities, activities and events begin to take place, we will be posting updates via Facebook, Hook App, Noticeboards, our website, and Hook Focus.

SERVICE UPDATE

The Parish Council office remains closed with all staff working from home.  An Extraordinary Meeting of the Council was held at the end of March, to enable the Executive Officer to continue to manage the day to day business of the Council, whilst using e-mail and video conferencing to communicate with Councillors.  This has ensured that the bills got paid, with essential facilities and services continuing uninterrupted.

Play areas and open spaces are still being monitored and waste bins emptied, ensuring that equipment remained safe and the areas are clean.  Grass is being cut in our open spaces, so with lockdown easing, residents can enjoy exercising outdoors.  In response to reports of breaches of some play areas and antisocial behaviour in the early weeks, a private security company undertook patrols and we received very positive feedback from residents in some parts of Hook.

The health and wellbeing of our community remains the top priority.  The Executive Officer was designated by Hart Response Hub, to co-ordinate Hook volunteers and residents needing support (shopping, medication delivery or a regular phone chat), who registered with the County Council or Hart Response Hub or contacted the Parish Council directly.

We are very grateful to all the volunteers for coming to the aid of our community.  The Hook Support Group should be congratulated for their wonderful work, shopping and delivering countless bags of groceries.  The overall volume of support requests has been comparatively small in Hook.  This is due to the number of residents supporting their friends and neighbours and improved access to online deliveries.  Well done to everyone for following the guidance, staying indoors, supporting others and staying safe.

PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL REPORT

Our ‘new look’ Annual Report 2019-20 went to print just before lockdown, and was delivered to every household in April, as usual.  If you did not get a copy, please call the Parish Council Office on 01256 768687 and we will be happy to deliver one.

MEETINGS

Whilst non-critical business has been deferred, meetings of the Council and Committees have been cancelled until social distancing measured make it feasible to meet face to face.    If urgent business does need to be discussed, virtual meetings will be held, with the Agenda published the week prior to the meeting.  The Agenda will include information and links to enable public participation.   The AGM of the Council is usually held in May, but Government has removed this requirement, so this meeting will take place as soon as practicable.

HELP AT HAND

Hart has delivered a support leaflet to all residents and businesses.  If you did not receive one, please let the Parish Council office know or it can be viewed at https://www.hart.gov.uk/covid-19-council-services.

ECHO HOTEL MUSIC CLUB – 2020 Progamme cancelled.  See the Facebook Page here for more details

ANNUAL VILLAGE MEETING – 15th September 2020 subject to COVID Advice

Apr 102020
 

It would be nice to bring you our usual round of upbeat and exciting things to look forward to, or updates on what has been happening in Hook.   However, these are challenging and unprecedented times for many so, not helped by empty supermarket shelves and being told to stay away from other people.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Given the developing Coronavirus situation and the uncertainty it brings, we understand that this is a difficult time for residents.  The health and wellbeing of our community is our top priority, so we will continue to follow Government advice and guidelines.  As a result, several activities and events will be changing and we will be posting updates via our website, noticeboards, Hook App etc. over the coming weeks/months.

Due to the majority of the office work being desktop based, we closed the Parish Council office at the end of March and all the staff are working remotely from home.  They can still be contacted by e-mail or phone in the normal way.

To reduce risk of social contact for Councillors, staff and members of the public that might attend, we are cancelling all meetings of the Council and its Committees during April.  This period will be extended depending on Government guidance.

We urge residents to follow the official advice, and stay safe so we can all look forward to a healthy Summer.

Help is at Hand

A number of groups have been set up, offering help with day to day shopping etc, for those in self isolation.  If you are not able to get help from friends, neighbours, family or other means, please contact the Parish Council office on the numbers below and we will endeavour to assist.

Annual Village Meeting – Postponed.

This has been postponed until later in the year.  All exhibitors and speakers have been notified and we will be in contact when a new date has been confirmed.  There were a number of nominations received by the closing date.  These will be held pending a new date for the Annual Village Meeting, later in the year.

New Councillor

At the Council meeting on 4th March, Les Morrison was co-opted to the Council.  Les moved to Hook with his wife and two children in 1989. Having retired in 2019 after 47 years working for the I.T. industry in engineering, service, support and project roles he joined the Council in order to “give something back to this wonderful community.

Councillor Co-option

At 19th March, the closing date for this vacancy, only one application for co-option had been received.  It is anticipated that an appointment will be made at the May Council meeting or the next meeting that is held thereafter.

Echo Hotel Music Club/Hook Live

Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, the April and May gigs have been cancelled.  It is hoped to continue the planned programme from June, but keep an eye out for updates via their website at www.echohotelmusicclub.co.uk or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/echohotelmusichook/

Diary Dates for 2020

Hook Village Show at Hartletts Park on Sunday 5th July 2020.